I Catch A Terrible Cat (2012)

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Yet another difficult film for me to review, I Catch A Terrible Cat is a film that I can’t find much information about anywhere else on the internet. There are one or two snippets, but this is definitely one that hasn’t been seen by too many people at this point in time. Never mind, I’m sure I can get by. I did actually watch the movie, so I have that going for me.

Moto Fuyuki stars as Takada, a successful novelist who has suffered from severe writer’s block since his wife died some time ago. He finds himself in the fortunate situation one evening of being given some extra attention by the new, young waitress at his local bar and, despite the age gap and her habit of getting into relationships that aren’t too healthy, things start looking up. Takada has no idea, however, just how this young woman has already affected the core group of people around him. In the second half of the movie, as revelation starts to follow revelation, things teeter on a thin wire between the serious and potentially explosive and the darkly comedic.

Written and directed by Rikia Imaizumi, I Catch A Terrible Cat is not the easiest viewing experience, but it just manages to do enough in the third act to make it worthwhile. Make it through some scenes that are far too long and things start to pick up just before the halfway point. It becomes easier to see where the intersecting points are between various character arcs, laying the ground work for the entertaining finale, and also makes you appreciate a lot of the moments that had initially seemed irrelevant or over-indulgent.

Moto Fuyuki, pretty much the only person involved with a fair-sized filmography to his name, is very good in the leading role, while everyone else does a good enough job alongside him. There are a few over the top moments, in that particular Japanese style, but most of the movie is a restrained, subdued affair and all of the characterisations are just right for whatever is required of the scene, including a trio introduced at the very start of the movie who don’t reappear for a good ninety minutes or so.

You may well hate this movie, but there’s also a chance that, like me, you start off rolling your eyes and wondering what the point of it all is until it starts to prove itself and show that it actually does have more to it than just a load of humourless scenes that outstay their welcome. If you enjoy it then remember that I told you to stick with it. If you hate it then forget that you ever read this review. Deal?

WRITER/DIRECTOR: RIKIYA IMAIZUMI
STARS: MOTO FUYUKI, KAZUHA KOMIYA, YUMI GOTO
RUNTIME: 130 MINS APPROX
COUNTRY: JAPAN

Film Rating: ★★★½☆

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